How to conduct sociological survey

How to conduct sociological survey

In public consciousness there is an opinion long ago that poll is nearly only method of practical sociology. Such assessment, to put it mildly, is not quite correct as among methods of sociology the set such which are not connected with polls is known. Besides, poll cannot be recognized as exclusively sociological method, it is widely applied in political science, journalism, psychology, jurisprudence and other social researches.

It is required to you

  • Plan of holding sociological poll, questionnaire


1. Sociological poll is intended to provide information on opinions of people, estimates by them of the social phenomena, about conditions of group and individual consciousness. These motives, opinions and the phenomena act as attributes of the objects studied by sociology. If about the studied object there is no rather full information if it is not available to direct observation and does not give in to an experiment, then the importance of sociological poll increases.

2. The domestic sociology abounds with attempts to use polls as the main method of obtaining the experimental data though it is more effective to study quite often a number of the phenomena in other ways. The reason is that the polling method seems to the beginning sociologist convenient, simple and even universal.

3. Unfortunately, possibilities of polls in sociology are limited. The data received during the polls often reflect subjective opinions of respondents. Such data need comparison to information of objective character obtained in more standardized ways and by methods. Sociological polls give the greatest effect in combination with observation, an experiment and the content analysis.

4. Methods of sociological poll are very different. Except widespread questioning they include different types of an interview, post, telephone, expert and other surveys. Any types of polls have the features which are based, nevertheless, on the general principles and approaches.

5. Before starting sociological poll, it is necessary to define the purposes and the procedure of a research accurately. Holding poll is preceded, thus, by deep development of the research program, understanding the purposes, tasks, categories of the analysis, hypotheses, an object and object of research. Do not forget to outline also sample (quantitatively and qualitatively) and to pick up the most effective tools.

6. Poll, in the most general case, assumes drawing up set of questions issued in the form of the questionnaire. Such set serves achievement of the goal of a research, the proof or a denial of the made hypothesis. It is especially carefully necessary to think over and perfect formulations of questions as they will fix categories of the analysis.

7. If in the analysis of answers of respondents their social and demographic characteristics are not considered, sociological poll loses any meaning. Therefore the questionnaire surely has to have a passport part where data on the interviewed person are entered (according to tasks of the research program).

8. Being the special act of communication between the interviewer and the respondent, sociological survey has to be conducted with observance of a number of rules. The respondent has to be interested in poll, he has to know who and for what purpose interviews him. The respondent has to understand sense and the maintenance of a question unambiguously.

9. Questions have to be formulated with respect for language norms. The formulation of each question has to correspond to the cultural level of the respondent. The possibility of a discretion in questions of sense, offensive for the respondent, has to be categorically excluded. Total number of questions has to keep within a framework of common sense and not tire the respondent. These are only some moments which should be considered to the sociologist, intended to use poll as a method of a social research.

Author: «MirrorInfo» Dream Team